What You Need To Know About Forex Trading In 2018

Forex is a shortened way of saying Forex exchange. This refers to the act of buying or selling one country’s currency for another for different reasons including commerce, tourism or as a personal investment. Many businesses run on a global scale, as such it is important to translate with other countries using their own currency hence creating a niche for Forex trading. Countries, businesses and people from all walks of life all participate in Forex trading making it the number one traded market worldwide.

You have probably participated in this popular trade for instance when you went on vacation to another country. You probably had to exchange your currency to the currency of where you were visiting for instance US dollars for Euros. The demand on the market for certain currencies will either boost or slow down its value when compared to other currencies.

Until the internet came into the scene, Forex trading was limited to the interbanking systems trading on behalf of their clients. With time, banks set up their own proprietary desks so that they could trade using their own accounts. It was long after this that large corporations, hedge funds and high net worth people jumped on the trading Forex band wagon, and it has proven to be a great source of income. To put it in a nutshell, global market trades at about $22.4 billion per day, while the forex market trades about $5 trillion per day.

Keeping this in mind, it’s no surprise that there are a surge of individual traders looking to make a profit from trading. If you are one of those individuals who are keen on trading currencies, here are a few pros and cons on Forex trading:

Pros and Cons of Forex Trading

  • Forex trading is the biggest financial market in the globe. According to the last triennial survey of the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), the size of the forex market turnover was $5.2 trillion. This means that it can offer the most liquidity; therefore you can enter and exit within a second in any of the major global currencies.

 

  • Due to the impressive range of liquidity and the ease with which a trade can exit or enter the market, brokers and banks entice traders by offering them a large leverage. This gives traders the ability to control large positions having chipped in little money of their own. Of course in order to garner maximum benefits, traders have to understand how to use leverage cautiously and effectively and the risks imposed on the account should the leverage be misused.

 

  • Another key advantage to Forex trading is that it operates 24 hours, starting out in Australia and coming to a close in New York before the cycle starts out again. Some of the top cities to focus on in 2018 when it comes to trading include: Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Paris, London and New York.

 

How to Be a Successful Trader

Over the years, there have been reports of massive losses as a result of undisciplined and inexperienced traders who do not know how forex trading works and have ignored platforms and methodologies such as the Elliot Wave Trading Theory. Below we shall uncover the key things you need to know in order to be a successful trader in 2018 and recap big profits.

 

  • Make A Plan

To profit in trading, it’s not only important to be well versed in the trades of the market itself, but to be self aware as well. This means that you risk tolerance and capital allocation to the trading. You have to sit down and analyse your own financial goals and your account before engaging in Forex trading. Once you determine your Forex trading goals, you have to set a time frame and jot down a working plan, be it short term or long term for your trading career.

Having clear goals means asking yourself a few trivial questions such as what should be the time frame for trial and error process? How much time do you plan on devoting to Forex trading, or whether you are getting into the trade as a hobby or a means to generate technology stable income? Answering such questions will help you determine the risks vs. returns and should the risks overshadow the profits, then it might be wise to embark on another endeavour.

  • Pick A Reliable Broker Then Start Small

Prior to focusing on the intricacies of trading itself, it is important to choose a broker who is in tandem with your trading goals and is of good expertise. It is wise to enquire about the brokers’ client profile, their trading software, and even how efficient their customers’ service is. The next step is to choose an account package that suits your expertise level. As a general rule for beginners, it is best to start out with a lower leverage. This gives you the much needed grave period to learn and maybe make mistakes that are not too costly. Start small and add onto your account as it gradually generates profits.

  • Stick To A Single Currency Pair

The forex market is vast and has brought together central banks, investment banks, commercial banks, hedge funds, retail traders, technology providers, statisticians, quants, software developers, analysts, just to name a few. It is an increasing industry that supports over 20 other industries. As such it can get chaotic, and in the midst of this chaos it is hard to grasp the nitty-gritty of all the participants in the trade. As such, it’s ideal to focus on trading with one currency pair which you are familiar with and understand, preferably the currency of your own country. Alternatively you can start off with the most liquid and widely traded currency pairs that are an ideal choice.

  • Understand The Trade

Forex trading in a nutshell is about probability and risk analysis. There is no single strategy that can guarantee you profits all the time. However, proper money management can help you to maximize profits and reduce losses. It’s also important to study the every changing market both its macroeconomic and microeconomic aspects and technical factors that come into play. Most importantly don’t make decisions based on your emotions.

How to Plan a Holiday Overseas on a Budget

Everyone needs to take a break once in a while, and going on a holiday abroad is a brilliant way to get away from stressful work or just the grind of a routine. Holidays can get expensive though, so this guide is designed to help you take a break without breaking the bank.

Plan Ahead and Compare

This may sound obvious, but a large part of getting a holiday cheap is making sure you get to it ahead of time. Doing this makes it easier for you to find the right deal by comparing all the possible providers at every level of the holiday, from flights to hotels to activities.

Using comparison sites is the way to go when it comes to finding the deal you’re looking for. Starting with hotels, putting your dream hotel into sites like Trivago or TripAdvisor can save you a chunk of your budget. On top of this, contacting the hotel directly to see if they can beat the price is never a bad idea, and could get you an even bigger saving.

When it comes to flights, make sure you are using sites which give you the biggest range of comparisons. For example, if you’re looking for a flight to a popular package holiday destination make sure you’re using a site that includes charter flights on their lists, meaning you can see if there are spare seats on a package provider’s flight.

Another way to secure a cheaper flight is to fly indirectly. While waiting around for two hours in an airport halfway between your base and your destination might not sound appealing, it could significantly cut the cost of your flight.

Consider Package Holidays

While doing all of your bookings independently can save you a lot of money in some cases, it can also be a lot of work for the sake of very small savings. Depending on when and where you’re travelling, it’s a good idea to at least check the price of equivalent package holidays.

Package holidays can be especially useful when it comes to an activity-heavy holiday, as they will often cut down the overall cost of activities, even if a single activity would have been cheaper outside of the package.

Cut Out the Extras

Consider whether you actually need Priority Boarding and Seat Selection on your flight. As almost all airlines now offer allocated seating these are usually unnecessary costs which can be easily cut from your budget.

Another extra cost which can be easily cut is the cost of food (either at the airport or on the plane). This usually outrageous expense can be easily removed by taking your own packed lunch. If you do take a packed lunch, however, remember that liquids will not be allowed onto the plane, but you can get around this by taking empty bottles to fill with water in the departure lounge.

Time Your Trip Right

Obviously, a large part of working out the timing of your holiday is dependent on outside factors like fitting around work or your kids’ school terms, but it’s important to maximise deals within the range of times you have available to you.

Often, term-time holidays are much cheaper than those available during the school holidays, but school holidays might be the only time you can travel. If this is the case, booking your trip for the later end of the holiday period is usually the best idea, with the last week of August and the first week of September often much cheaper than the rest of the holidays.

Alternatively, October half-term can also be a good time to get away if your holidays are restricted by the school term, as trips then are usually in line with the rest of term time.

The time of travel on your days of departure and return can also affect the cost of flights or trains. Overnight trips can cost significantly less, so if you find it easy to fall asleep in transit you could use this to reduce cost of travel and to eliminate the cost of one night’s stay at your hotel from your budget.

Be Prepared

For your own protection, it’s always a good idea to get your travel insurance sorted as soon as possible after booking your trip. Otherwise, you could be caught out by any number of problems meaning you have to cancel and be left with no way to get your money back.

It’s also important to be prepared on the day of travel itself, particularly when it comes to weighing your bags. Make sure your bags are within the limits your airline sets on luggage, as the charges for excessive weight can be extreme.

Research Your Activities and Book Beforehand

While booking your excursions independently can seem like a lot of work compared to going with the trips organised by your hotel/campsite, it can mean a major difference in expense.

This is usually due to the fact that local public transport will be cheaper than the coaches used for organised excursions. Unfortunately, local buses rarely come with the guides provided on hotel organised coaches, but you could halve the cost of your sightseeing. You might also make savings from booking this transport far ahead of time.

You can increase the savings in most major cities through travel or sight-seeing passes. These generally get you savings as long as you make more than two or three journeys on local transport each day. In major cities this can quickly build up your savings as you cross the city to get from sight to sight.

Many of the older European cities, on the other hand, are easily walkable if you want to eliminate transport costs altogether. By researching the sights of a particular city you can often work out which ones are in the same geographical area as each other and plan your days around this.

The Basics of Personal Finance

Personal finance is simply the ability of a person to save and manage his finances. It is a fact that not all people find the importance of personal finance merely because they have not experienced something difficult in their life or probably they have not encountered something important in their lives yet.

Some people already find it stressful even when they are just thinking of budgeting their own money. Experts say that this is because there was no financial management education in college or even as early as high school. With this, people just get stressed as they start working because all that they do is spend their money and, after a few days, they need to wait for the next paycheck to come.

Since personal finance is extremely important, here are the basic tips that you can consider.

Learn how to budget
Budgeting is an essential part of personal finance. It is the stage where you have to earn money and so you work or you have a job and at the same time, you have to put the money in the right cause. A lot of people like to write down their budget so that they can somehow see on how they earn and spend their money. If you want to use technology, you can always use your mobile phone to do the budgeting.

When you budget, you need to make sure that you include what gets in and what gets out. This includes your monthly bills. You should also put something for an emergency fund or even for traveling.

The purpose of having a budget is you know how you get the money and how you spend it as well.

Save some of what you earn
People usually do not know how to save money. There are so many suggestions that experts give. For instance, saving ten percent of your monthly earnings is a good way to start. It is not a good idea to save what is left over because sometimes it does not work. However, if you do not have the discipline to do so, you can search for saving money challenges in the internet. Your goal is to complete the challenge of saving money in different and unique ways. At the end of the year, you get a big amount of money.

Cut some Expenses
You are free to use your hard-earned money but you should know that there is also a limit to spending. You should live within your means and you just cannot spend what you do not have. You need to get rid of unnecessary spending just like you can commute using the subway instead of riding the taxi every day. By cutting your expenses, you have more money to spend on better things, and you can even save more money.

Stay away from Debt
People usually like to use their credit cards, but they do not pay the whole amount. They end up paying a lot of interest and worst when they cannot pay anymore, they leave their bills rising month per month. If you can stay away from debt, you have more money to use and save.

Invest
Investing is another way of earning money in a passive way. You can ask a financial adviser to help you. You will not be forced to pay for something that you cannot keep up with.

Overall, personal finance is important especially that it can help you in your daily life. Even during retirement, you surely will still have money that you can use. You will thank yourself for saving for the future.

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What have we learnt about Finance from Christmas 2018?

Christmas is an expensive time. It is estimated that the average family spends £800 on festivities every year. Many even risk getting into a serious debt problem to enjoy the Season. While this is extremely stressful for many people, all this spending results in a lot of interesting data that reveals a lot about our priorities, our spending habits, stable investing opportunities, best sales practice, and, even, the economy.

Continued Online Dominance

Unsurprisingly, as in previous years, more people turned to ordering online to source their Christmas necessities than ever before. The store Next, for example, reported a 13.6% rise in their online sales in the 54 days before the 24th December.

This demonstrates the preference for convenience, and the improvements that continue to be made with deliveries. As Natalie Berg, global research director of Planet Retail, notes:

‘In retail, time wars are becoming the new price wars. A few years ago, three to four days was acceptable, but today same-day delivery is becoming the norm’.

As such, Argos was noted to have promised that customers who placed an order by 1pm on Christmas Eve would have it delivered by 6pm on that same day.

Shopping as an Experience

Despite increasing numbers of people choosing to do their Christmas shopping online, Network Rail has reported an increase in retail sales around the Christmas period. Interestingly, the stations with the greatest profit are all in London, which is often more likely to experience a mass exodus around this time, as people leave to visit family elsewhere. Paddington Station had the greatest increase at 42%, while Euston and Kings Cross experienced an increase of 12%.

As such, it is possible that this uptake in train station use at London demonstrates an enduring love with the experience of shopping, and other Christmas experiences. Visiting attractions, such as Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and going shopping of Oxford Street, continue to be enjoyable Christmas experiences, regardless of the convenience of internet shopping.

Success Stories and Cautionary Tales

There are all sorts of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ out of the major shopping competitors over the Christmas period. This Christmas, Tesco’s can be considered a key winner as their seasonal sales were up 1.9%, with their food sales dominating at a growth of 3.4%.

John Lewis, another winner, saw a 3.1% sales hike over 6 weeks over the Christmas period, and partner Waitrose saw a hike of 1.5%.

The greatest winner, however, was Lidl, who saw an impressive leap of 16% in their sales over December. This clearly demonstrates a move towards value supermarkets, as wage concerns, inflation, and other financial concerns dominate consumer interests.

More telling, however, is the supermarket deemed the ‘loser’ of Christmas 2018: Marks and Spencer. They experienced a 2.8% drop in like for like clothing and home sales over 13 weeks, while their food sales were down 0.4%.

Similarly, Debenhams experienced a 2.6% drop, and House of Fraser experienced a 2.9% decrease. The struggling nature of ‘upper mid-range’ shops might demonstrate that there is not only increasing financial pressure, but also a growing inequality as the majority of people fall into two extremes: Waitrose, or Lidl.

Quality Food

Another enduring love, is that of food. While it is clear that consumers are not necessarily prepared to switch to a more up-market supermarket for their Christmas food, perhaps as they are managing debt or struggling with inflation, as shown by the persisting love of Lidl and Tesco’s, it is clear that consumers still want quality for Christmas.

As such, sales in premium food lines grew this Christmas. Morrison’s ‘The Best’ line, for example saw their sales increase by 25%, and Tesco’s similarly acknowledge that its record sales during the four weeks before 25th December were significantly due to increases in sales in their ‘Tesco’s Finest’ range.

Bryan Roberts, an insight director at TCC Global, noted:

‘What’s interesting is that instead of trading up to a premium supermarket like Waitrose or Marks & Spencer, people have been trading up within the normal retailers they shop at and just buying more premium products’

Dubious Discounts

With the introduction of Black Friday, increasingly a debate over the effectiveness of pre-Christmas and Christmas sales has dominated sales. As inflation limits the amount that consumers have to spend, they have begun to think and act critically, so as to avoid needing an IVA in the new year. This year was no exception.

The rise of online retail, in which you cannot always see the quality of your goods before you buy them, and the increasing use of sales, has made consumers more suspicious of discounts for the sake of discounts. As Jeremy Schwartz, former chairman and chief executive of The Body Shop argued:

‘Customers are getting so savvy and cynical about discounted products… Those retailers that have brought something new – a great quality, a great innovation, something new, and held their nerve on price – have been the ones who’ve been the winners’.

He refers to shops such as Next, who managed record increases in sales, while refusing to participate in Black Friday. The effectiveness of Black Friday can be brought into question, as there is often a ‘hangover’ effect that means that for the first week, or so, of December, consumers spend little as they no longer want to pay full price. This could mean that gains over the weekend can be lost over the proceeding weeks.

Doing Black Friday Right

As such, it seems that a winning formula has emerged in terms of Black Friday success stories. Dixons Carphone, for example, used Black Friday to sell products and promotions that they would not normally sell. They offered a limited amount, and this ensures that they are not simply selling products that they could have sold full-price.

As Roberts notes: ‘By having products just for Black Friday, Dixons is generating incremental spending that wouldn’t have happened anyway… One-off merchandising is the most sensible way to go, otherwise you’re diluting your margins’.